OMAHA, Neb.— The University of South Dakota’s cross country teams started their seasons off strong with a pair of wins at the Creighton/UNO Classic at the Chili Greens Course in Omaha, Neb. on Sept. 1.
Men’s runner Jeff Mettler picked up where he left off last season by winning the event, while the women placed four in the top five.
Mettler finished the run in 26:39.10 to win by 30 seconds over Nebraska’s Jarren Heng. The run was a school record at Chili Greens and spearheaded the men to have eight finishers in the top 13.
Ethan Marquardt placed third in 27:44.60, and Mubarik Musa was fourth in 27:47.10. Travis Brenner placed sixth in 27:50.50, Taylor Huseman placed seventh in 27:53.00 and Alex Hohenthaner placed eighth in 28:11.00 to round out the USD men’s top 10 finishers.
In the standings, the Coyote men recorded 21 points, while Nebraska placed second with 37. Creighton was third with 89 and Iowa Western Community College was fourth at 104.
The meet was also scored in a double duals format. The men topped Creighton 15-50 and beat Nebraska 21-37.
The women also placed large numbers near the front with eight in the top-15. Katie Wetzstein led the Coyotes with a second-place finish in 19:35.30, which is a school freshman record at Chili Greens. She was 12 seconds behind race winner Amanda Vorthmann of Omaha.
South Dakota swept the rest of the top-five. Megan Hilson ran 19:45.20 to place third, Amber Eickhorn’s 19:47.20 gave her fourth, and Carol Miller’s 19:48.80 put her in fifth-place.
Ali Gress ran a 13th-place finish in 20:23.30. Britni Waller and Kristin Steffan followed her with 14th and 15th place, respectively. Waller finished in 20:26.60 and Steffan finished in 20:37.70.
The women’s standings had USD with 26 points, Nebraska with 52, Omaha with 61, Creighton with 98, and Iowa Western with 143. The women also won the duals with scores of 16-47 over Creighton, 22-37 over Omaha and 18-41 over Nebraska.
Both teams will be at the Nebraska Woody Greeno Invitational in Lincoln on September 15.